This session is closed for bidding.
Current bid: $65,000 CAD
Bidding History
Paddle # Date Amount

37738 28-Apr-2022 05:08:13 PM $65,000

37728 28-Apr-2022 05:07:17 PM $60,000

37738 28-Apr-2022 05:06:12 PM $55,000

37728 28-Apr-2022 05:05:43 PM $50,000

37738 28-Apr-2022 05:04:29 PM $47,500

37728 28-Apr-2022 05:04:00 PM $45,000

37738 28-Apr-2022 05:03:18 PM $42,500

37728 28-Apr-2022 05:02:38 PM $40,000

37738 28-Apr-2022 05:01:43 PM $37,500

37728 28-Apr-2022 04:59:12 PM $35,000

37738 28-Apr-2022 04:56:00 PM $32,500

28877 15-Apr-2022 04:36:37 PM $30,000

24344 15-Apr-2022 03:51:23 PM $27,500 AutoBid

871334 14-Apr-2022 01:14:57 PM $25,000 AutoBid

24344 14-Apr-2022 01:14:57 PM $22,500 AutoBid

871334 14-Apr-2022 01:14:33 PM $20,000 AutoBid

24344 14-Apr-2022 01:14:33 PM $19,000 AutoBid

871334 14-Apr-2022 01:14:02 PM $18,000 AutoBid

24344 14-Apr-2022 01:14:00 PM $17,000 AutoBid

871334 12-Apr-2022 06:16:48 PM $16,000 AutoBid

16760 12-Apr-2022 06:16:48 PM $15,000

871334 11-Apr-2022 09:51:51 PM $14,000 AutoBid

16760 08-Apr-2022 08:24:13 PM $13,000

The bidding history list updated on: Sunday, November 27, 2022 01:06:47

LOT 409

1885 - 1970

Ocean Falls, BC
tempera on paper on canvas
dated circa 1945 on a brass plaque
19 1/2 x 25 1/8 in, 49.5 x 63.8 cm

Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000 CAD

Sold for: $79,250

Preview at: Heffel Montreal

Sotheby's Canada, November 8, 1988, lot 219
Private Estate, Montreal

Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, Ten Pulp and Paper Paintings, 1948, the related print West Coast Mill listed and reproduced page 14
Ian Sigvaldason and Scott Steedman, Art for War and Peace: How a Great Public Art Project Helped Canada Discover Itself, 2015, the related print West Coast Mill reproduced page 105

Lawren Harris moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1940, but despite living there for the next 30 years, he produced surprisingly few landscape works depicting the surrounding coastal landscape. With his focus primarily on abstraction from the mid-1930s onward, when he did revisit landscape paintings, the majority were based on sketches from the 1920s instead of new subjects. This work represents an extremely rare depiction by the artist of the West Coast, and gives an important insight into how the geography of this part of Canada, dramatically distinct from other regions, was interpreted by the artist.

The origin of this work, which deviates from Harris’s usual paintings, is a commission by the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, who in the mid-1940s, partnered with Sampson-Matthews Limited to create a series of silkscreen prints celebrating the industry. The first group of the Pulp and Paper series consisted of ten prints, and expanded the Sampson-Matthews silkscreen print program, which had started during World War II in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada, initiated by A.Y. Jackson, and overseen by A.J. Casson. Over the course of the entire public art program, Harris contributed five designs, with West Coast Mill being the only original – the other four were based on pre-existing canvases. This work, Ocean Falls, BC, is the original tempera painting upon which West Coast Mill was based, and it was created specifically for the Pulp and Paper series. The process of silkscreen printing, in which inks are laid down one colour at a time, creates novel challenges for designs - the most significant being the need to rely on flat colour, with an inability to blend colours or use gradients. Harris, an artist who was always open to experimentation, enthusiastically embraced these parameters in his design, deftly utilizing a restricted palette and broken, flat colour patterns to depict the scene.

The subject for this painting is the view up Cousins Inlet along the central coast of BC, looking at the town and mill of Ocean Falls. As with much of his work from the Rockies, Harris has taken liberties with the scene, exaggerating the landscape forms to better correspond to the awesome impression created by the massive and rugged coastal mountains. While the work was commissioned to celebrate one of Canada’s largest industries, the relatively diminutive size of the settlement in the composition demonstrates Harris’s view that the scale of human endeavour is best contextualized within the grandeur of the landscape that it is a part of.

We thank Alec Blair, Director/Lead Researcher, Lawren S. Harris Inventory Project, for contributing the above essay.

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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